The Clinical Work of Wilfred Bion: the ‘Here and Now’ and the Present Unconscious

In a short, iconic and occasionally baffling paper, Wilfred Bion (1967) in ‘Notes on Memory and Desire’ epitomized what contemporary London Kleinian work began to become most well-known for, namely working with the ‘here and now’ states of mind evinced by analytic patients. While Melanie Klein’s work with young children had long been conducted with a focus on the present moment, Bion accelerated this emphasis by a radical revision vis-à-vis the patient’s early remembered history. While he listened to patient’s accounts of their early life, he emphasized more what he could directly observe in the session. Dr. Aguayo maintains that Bion’s emphasis on the present unconscious can be integrated with Freud’s notion of the past unconscious, all of which leads to a multi-dimensional understanding of what our patients tell us.


Friday, January 25, 2019 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
7:00 p.m. Registration/Wine & Cheese



4455 Morena Blvd., Ste 202
San Diego, CA 92117
United States
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SDPC Graduate Members: free, Non-Members/Clinicians: $30, Students: $20

Educational Objective(s)

  • Articulate what it means to work analytically in the ‘here and now.’
  • Explain how the analyst can listen to and deploy the patient’s remembered history in making the living experience of the session come to life.
  • Describe the analyst’s mind-set as he listens to and works with clinical material in the ‘here and now.’

Presenter Information

Joseph Aguayo, PhD is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California, an Associate Member of the New Center for Psychoanalysis.  He holds UCLA doctorates in both Clinical Psychology and European History.  He is also a Guest Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society in London.  He merges his clinical and research interests by publishing on clinical history of Kleinian, Bionian and Winnicottian psychoanalysis and frequently publishes in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis.   

Recent and forthcoming publications:  His short essay on D.W. Winnicott’s Lecture Tour of California in 1962, won the Oxford University Press’s 2017 Winnicott Essay Competition, and appeared in the Bulletin of the British Psychoanalytical Society, (May, 2018).  He is also co-author along with Lundgren, Hinshelwood, Caldwell, Oelsner and Goldberg of a comparative study of the work of Winnicott and Bion in the May, 2018 issue of the British Journal of Psychotherapy.